Tenebra Macabre

Here’s a quick look at a relatively new game – Tenebra Macabre.

In this dark world, you have to contend with not only the standard enemies, but even spiky floors! At the beginning you can only see your immediate surroundings, but every once in a while, lightning flashes and you can get a glimpse of your surroundings. Make your plan and proceed with caution!

There’s also a candle in each room. Make your way and light it, and then you’ll be able to see in that room.

As the name implies, the environment and accompanying music is a little on the creepy side. Makes for a fun, eerie time!

So not only is this game free, but it’s available for the gamut of Commodore 8-bit machines (except MAX Machine, never gets any love!). Pick your flavor – C64, Plus/4, C16, C116, or VIC-20.
C64 – https://majikeyric.itch.io/tenebra-macabre
Plus/4・ C16・C116 – http://www.pouet.net/prod.php?which=80399
VIC-20 – http://www.pouet.net/prod.php?which=80408

Commodore Joystick

Around the time of the VIC-20, Commodore came up with this joystick design.

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This is, of course, a ripoff of the Atari 2600 joystick design. The only differences were the brown and beige VIC-20 colors and the fact that Commodore put their name on it.

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It’s a bit difficult to see in the above photo, but the base and cable are also VIC-20 brown.

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Of course, Atari sued Commodore. The judgment was for Atari, so Commodore quickly redesigned the more common joystick shown below.

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Donkey Kong

This is an excellent port of the arcade version of the game. It was made in 2014. The gameplay is fantastic and features vibrant, original graphics.

It works in both PAL and NTSC. NTSC machines are missing a few lines of image at the top, but it doesn’t affect the enjoyability of the game.

The game has all four of the original levels from the arcade. At first I thought it was pretty hard, but I got much better at timing jumps. Still a little difficult!

What a wonderful time to be a Commodore user. This game is free. You can download it on the page linked to below.



I lucked out on this one! I discovered a 1084S on Yahoo Auctions. It was listed as untested, so I didn’t have a lot of faith that it would work. Consequently, I didn’t want to spend too much, so I assumed I wasn’t going to win the auction. But whether it was due to the unknown working condition, the misprint (it was listed as a 1984S, not 1084S), or the holiday period, I won the auction at 1000 yen (about $9), with shipping being set at a special low price of 1111 yen.

Post-cleaning. I always forget to take a “before” picture.

When it arrived, I was pretty nervous about whether or not it would work. It wasn’t a big financial investment, but if it doesn’t work, I don’t have the space for it, but I couldn’t possibly allow it to be thrown away. I certainly can’t fix it! But miraculously, it just worked!

It seems to only support NTSC, so it is a good match for my Commodore 128, but I am waiting on a cable for it. The cable was more expensive than the monitor itself!

Replacement Commodore 128

I recently bought another Commodore 128 on eBay. According to the auction’s description, this is an unused system. I have no way of knowing if that’s true or not, but anyway it’s in quite clean shape!

I bought this one because, even though it is less compatible, I wanted to switch back to NTSC, as I had used when I was a teenager. There are three reasons I wanted to go NTSC.

First, in subtle ways, it is more nostalgic. For example, the loading sequence when I start up Karateka is the way I remember it from my teens. Music also sometimes matches the speed of playback that I used to hear it.

Second, NTSC displays at 60Hz, which I feel leads to a much crisper picture. I don’t suspect you can tell by a still photo, and the second image is neither NTSC nor PAL, but anyway the picture looks great!

Third, with NTSC, depending on the game, it uses more of the available screen real estate. Borders are smaller. For example, in my favorite Commodore 64 game, Alternate Reality,: The Dungeon, the title screen goes nearly to the very top and bottom of the screen.

As I mentioned, I don’t know if it is truly unused or not, but the keyboard feels really smooth to the press and is easy to type on. I noticed a small amount of dirt here and there, so it really might have been used, but I knew that possibility when I bought it, and I am most satisfied with it.

More MAX Machine games

There was a pretty big batch of MAX Machine games going down on Yahoo Auctions.

Four boxes were completely new to me, and some boxes replaced older boxes that weren’t as nice looking.  I resold the leftovers on Yahoo Auctions

This is the collection as it stands now:

I’m still looking for Bowling, Billiards, Gorf, Slalom, and MAX BASIC to complete the collection.

MAX Machine Manuals

Here are PDF files of the MAX Machine manuals I’ve accumulated and scanned. These are suitable for viewing in your web browser, but if anyone would like to print these, I’ll link to a temporary higher-resolution file.

MAX Machine – Avengers

MAX Machine – Clowns

MAX Machine – Jupiter Lander

MAX Machine – Kick Man

MAX Machine – Mole Attack

MAX Machine – Money Wars

MAX Machine – Omega Race

MAX Machine – Radar Rat Race

MAX Machine – Road Race

MAX Machine – Super Alien

MAX Machine – Wizard of Wor